Creamy Smashed Rutabagas

Rutabaga is a delicious root vegetable that has a taste similar to a turnip. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, but this recipe simply enhances the rutabaga's mild, slightly sweet natural flavors with butter, cream, a dash of vanilla and some nutmeg. It works well with roasted meats, poultry and game and can be made ahead and reheated with no compromise in flavor or texture.

Creamy Smashed Rutabagas
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  • Ingredients:
  • 2 medium rutabagas (1 to 1-1/4 lbs each), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Place the rutabagas in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rutabagas are very tender when pierced with a knife. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Mash the rutabagas, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the nutmeg and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir in the butter, cream and vanilla, combine thoroughly and mash until all the large lumps are eliminated. Alternately, you can purée the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender. (We've prepared it both ways.)

Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately. You can also transfer to a lightly greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish, cover and keep warm in a low oven or refrigerate and reheat later (tightly covered - 40 to 45 minutes at 350°F).

Makes 8 servings

Recipe Notes:
Rutabagas are quite dense and hard, making them a formidable opponent on your cutting board. They are usually already trimmed of the root and top and heavily waxed when you buy them. To prepare, cut a slice about 1/4-inch thick from each end, then place firmly on a cutting board and cut away the outer peel using a chef's knife. It's much easier than using a vegetable peeler.

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